Madhya Pradesh, India (BBN)-Over 80 people died and nearly 100 were injured as a powerful gas cylinder explosion ripped through a restaurant near Madhya Pradesh’s Jhabua district Saturday.
According to senior police officials, gelatine sticks used in mining stored in a house next to the restaurant added to the intensity of the blast. As a result, the two-storey building housing the restaurant collapsed and several adjacent buildings suffered damages, reports NDTV.
The explosion at Sethiya Restaurant, situated in a residential area near a bus stand in Petlawad, over 300 kms from the state capital, happened around 9 this morning.
The death toll rose after rescuers recovered more bodies from the debris of the shattered restaurant and surrounding buildings. As many as 20 of those injured are believed to be in critical condition.
“The restaurant was located in a tightly packed locality where a lot of people were having breakfast, that is why the casualties are so high,” senior district police official Seema Alava said.
Another district police official cited the restaurant’s proximity to a busy bus stand as the reason for the high number of casualties.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh for the families of those killed and Rs. 50,000 for those injured.
“The Jhabua tragedy is heart wrenching. I offer my condolences to the families of the victims and pray for the speedy recovery of those injured,” he said.
In a message on Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “extremely pained at the loss of lives due to the cylinder blast in Jhabua. My deepest condolences to the families of the deceased.”
State Home Minister Babulal Gaur said a high-level inquiry has been ordered into the incident.